Ariz. board to weigh clemency for death row inmate

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Daniel Wayne Cook By Catherine Holland Daniel Wayne Cook By Catherine Holland
Daniel Wayne Cook By Catherine Holland Daniel Wayne Cook By Catherine Holland

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) -- A state board on Friday hears a request for clemency for an Arizona inmate scheduled to be executed next week for two gruesome murders committed in 1987 in Mohave County.

A petition filed on behalf of Daniel Wayne Cook asks that his death sentence be reduced to life in prison.

Cook, 51, was convicted in the deaths of 26-year-old Carlos Cruz-Ramos and 16-year-old Kevin Swaney. Prosecutors showed that Cruz-Ramos was tortured and that both victims were raped.

The clemency petition says Cook wasn't provided help to present sentencing evidence on circumstances warranting leniency. It says those circumstances included being molested and beaten as a child.

Cook represented himself during his trial and sentencing, and a federal appeals court ruled recently that he chose to withhold evidence of mitigating circumstances.